For the purposes of reality, Joey Logano has a race win in 2017. He drove away from teammate Brad Keselowski after a late restart at Richmond and took the checkered flag.
For the purposes of NASCAR scoring, he doesn’t. Logano’s car failed inspection after that race and the win was “encumbered,” meaning NASCAR won’t count it toward a berth in the playoffs. Without the win on his official playoff record, Logano is in the same club as winless drivers Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and many others.
In the eight races before Richmond, Logano had finished worse than sixth just once. Since Richmond, his best finish is a 21st and he’s gone from fifth to 11th in the points standings.
“You have to keep life in perspective a lot of times with what you are doing out there,” Logano said Friday. “One of funniest comments, maybe not the truth but, someone said, ‘We aren’t curing cancer out there, we are just trying to make circles really fast.’
” … Really if you look at the speed, last week in Pocono we made a step. We had a good second run in qualifying and were ninth. We had a good start, we were running sixth and had a flat tire. Those things have been happening to us. It isn’t just the speed. We have had other issues. We had an issue at Dover where we had a top-10 car. We aren’t the winning car like we are used to being or want to be but we have made some progress on our cars to where we have gotten faster since Charlotte. We just haven’t had a chance to show it because we are trying to overcome things. Our car isn’t fast enough to overcome issues that happen in the race right now. If we get faster we can overcome having a flat tire last week.”
Logano is the defending winner of Sunday’s Cup Series race at Michigan. A win on Sunday would mean he’s a virtual lock for the playoffs.
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